Coronavirus Updates for Dec. 31: Westchester County Records More Than 770 New Cases, Putnam Sees Over 100

With the positive infection rates in Westchester and Putnam counties on the rise, daily case and test numbers indicate the area could be experiencing the beginnings of the post-Christmas coronavirus surge.

Coronavirus cases increased by 771 in Westchester County on Wednesday, bringing the total number of positive cases to 68,702 since the start of the pandemic. There are currently 8,162 active cases, an increase of 222 over the previous day, with the daily test positivity rate 8.86 percent, according to state data.

The percentage is based on 8,701 tests taken on Monday, state data shows. The number of tests administered on Monday is much lower compared to various days throughout December when daily cases exceeded 700.

Overall, there have been over 1.4 million COVID-19 tests administered in Westchester since March.

The county reported five more deaths, resulting in a total of 1,661 COVID-19-related fatalities since March, according to the state tracker. This week 22 people have died from the virus.

As of Dec. 26, there were 392 virus patients in Westchester hospitals.

Putnam County’s total caseload has reached 4,750 according to the state, with 106 additional positive cases recorded on Wednesday. The county’s daily positivity rate is 10.75 percent, with 986 tests administered Monday, state data shows.

Putnam currently has 831 active cases. 

There have been 67 coronavirus-related deaths in Putnam. No new deaths were reported on Wednesday.

Statewide there were 13,422 new positive cases on Wednesday, according to the state tracker. The daily positivity rate is 8.66 percent.

The state recorded 144 additional COVID-19-related fatalities, bringing the death toll to 29,905 since March.

Total hospitalizations are at 7,892 an increase of 78 over the previous day, according to state data. Across New York there have been 957,412 positive coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

Here are the latest updates on Dec. 31

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday plans to sign an executive order extending the requirement that death benefits be paid out to families of frontline government workers for an additional 30 days. The legislation provides these benefits would otherwise expire today.

Furthermore, Cuomo announced that more than 200,000 New Yorkers have received the first of the two-dose COVID vaccine. Beginning next week, testing will expand to ambulatory care health workers and public-facing health workers, including those administered COVID-19 tests.

“The vaccine is the weapon that will win the war, but it can’t be done overnight and our actions will determine how fast we can reach the light at the end of the tunnel,”  Cuomo said. “Yes, we are getting the vaccine out as quickly as possible, and yes, we’re doing everything we can to slow the spread, but we also need to find ways to start reopening businesses through the use of testing. That is the smartest way forward and that’s what we’re trying to explore.”

Westchester Active Coronavirus Cases by Municipality 

Here are the active cases by municipality in Westchester as of Wednesday. With a lag between the total number of cases confirmed by the state and the tally of cases by town, the total number of municipal cases might be slightly different than what the county’s active cases reflects.

  • Ardsley – 32
  • Bedford – 94
  • Briarcliff Manor – 41
  • Bronxville – 15
  • Buchanan – 17
  • Cortlandt – 245
  • Croton-on-Hudson – 76
  • Dobbs Ferry – 84
  • Eastchester – 194
  • Elmsford – 60
  • Greenburgh – 308
  • Harrison – 233
  • Hastings-on-Hudson – 40
  • Irvington – 29
  • Larchmont – 33
  • Lewisboro – 53
  • Mamaroneck Town – 66
  • Mamaroneck Village – 202
  • Mount Kisco – 118
  • Mount Pleasant – 235
  • Mount Vernon – 402
  • New Castle – 92
  • New Rochelle – 727
  • North Castle – 109
  • North Salem – 33
  • Ossining Town – 33
  • Ossining Village – 287
  • Peekskill – 294
  • Pelham – 61
  • Pelham Manor – 53
  • Pleasantville – 59
  • Port Chester – 329
  • Pound Ridge – 11
  • Rye Brook – 97
  • Rye City – 99
  • Scarsdale – 78
  • Sleepy Hollow – 117
  • Somers – 118
  • Tarrytown – 75
  • Tuckahoe – 45
  • White Plains – 533
  • Yonkers – 1,754
  • Yorktown – 354

School News & Business Closures 

Business Closures

  • In Peekskill, Factoria, River Outpost, and Fin & Brew will be closed for the winter out of an abundance of caution with coronavirus cases rapidly increasing locally. Restaurants will reopen on March 15.

School Closures

  • Carmel Central School District will transition to remote learning through Jan. 8.
  • Brewster Central School District will be on a remote learning schedule through Jan. 8
  • White Plains Public School will be on remote learning through Jan. 8
  • Greenburgh Central School District has transitioned all schools to remote learning through Jan. 11.
  • Mahopac Central School District will transition to virtual learning until January.
  • Lakeland Central School District will shift to its fully remote model starting Thursday through Jan. 19.
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